Limericks Best Country Walks – Photo above of Lough Gur by Cian Reinhardt/ ilovelimerick.com
Limerick is a county that is rich with all sorts of sights and excitement. There is an abundance of city spectacles and improvements are continuously being made to our beautiful city in the last few years. Outside the busy lifestyle of the city, there is a vast countryside wonderland that stretches all across the county.
With multiple walks and heritage sites scattered across the county, there is much to choose from for an adventure. I Love Limerick took a look at five brilliant places for you and your family to go to.
The Clare Glens is a secluded wooden walk along the Clare River that seperates Tipperary and Limerick. Depending on which route you take, the walk is 2-4km long. A brilliant walk for beginners grabbing an interest in hillwalking and hiking. This walk features the calming sounds of the Clare River flowing through the red sandstone gorge at the site.
Between the gorgeous wooden scenery and the tranquil sounds of the river flowing beneath you, Clare Glens is a real gem in Limerick County. There’s a playground just beside the wood which is perfect to entertain children.
This site is only a 15-minute drive outside of the city following the R506 between Limerick City and Cappamore. There will be signs along the way to guide you to the site.
Limerick City is rich with riverside walks with the River Shannon running through the city. A quick way to escape the city is to follow alongside the river and there’s plenty of different walks that you can go on.
One of the infamous walks that starts in Limerick City is the Lough Derg Way. This walk promises a vast amount of sights and where nature thrives. It’s a great activity to do with friends and family. The Lough Derg Way is a 64km walking route that starts behind the Hunt Museum in Limerick City and follows the River Shannon and its associated canals northwestwards to Dromineer on Lough Derg.
There are also other walks alongside Corbally and North Circular Road in Limerick.
Curragh Chase Forest Park
Curragh Chase is a gorgeous estate filled with different park trails to explore. It’s a perfect venue for those who enjoy cycling or walking. Curragh Chase (Originally Curragh meaning bog) was home to Sir Aubrey de Vere, a poet and author. He was born in 1814 and died in 1902 with Curragh Chase being his main home. The site was acquired in 1957 by the Forestry Division and was established as a forest park in the 1970s.
There are four main walking trails in Curragh Chase Forest Park. Firstly the Glenisca Walking Trail is a trail that suits occasional walkers and cyclists. The walk brings you through conifer forest, an old cave and impressive limestone cliff walls.
The Curragh Walking Trail is another walk that suit occasional walkers and cyclists with a smoother surface than the Glenisca Walking Trail. This trail reveals the Lake Trail in Curragh Chase and is reasonably sheltered.
The Lake Trail suits everyone including wheelchair users. This trail gives a real insight into the beautiful nature surrounding Curragh Chase. The trail allows you to gaze at the old house in this site or to feed the ducks at the lakeside.
Lastly there’s the Arboretum Trail boasts a diverse range of trees that the estate grows. The trail can be walked in about 20 minutes. There is lots of information dotting the walk for you to read and learn about the trees.
Curragh Chase estate is about a 30 minute drive using the N69.
Lough Gur is a wonderland of information and insight to the evolution of man and culture in Ireland. It’s one of Ireland’s most important archaelogical sites.
In 2013, a full refurbishment was done to the visitor centre of Lough Gur. The visitor centre tells the story of Pre-Celtic Ireland dating back to 3000 BC. This includes a slide show, imaginative exhibition models and interpretative panels.
The site boasts of so many glimpses of history that is worth the visit. There are remains of a small farmstead, which was built about 900 AD. There are replicas of Stone Age Pottery and other artifacts depicting the life-styles of the first inhabitants of the area. There is also an abundance of historical information on the geology, botany and social history of Lough Gur for all visitors to read and observe.
Lough Gur is about 30 minutes away by car following the R512.
The Foynes Recreation Site
The Foynes Recreaction Site is one of the Discovery Points on the Wild Atlantic Way.
The Coillte Foynes Recreaction Site is a place that everyone must visit. It is such a gem that is filled with gorgeous forests with different walkways to explore.
There is also some history to imagine when visiting this site. For the historian, take some time to imagine the transatlantic flying boats landing in Foynes around World War II.
Remnants of the estate days can still be observed within the property to this day in the form of the old carriage paths, stone walls and the Lady’s Gate. Nearby is the Foynes deepwater seaport, one of the busiest ports in Ireland as the cranes unload and load containers.
There is plenty to see in this site so be sure to visit and engage with the beautiful surroundings.
For more information of each of these places visit limerick.ie
For information about the walks and advice visit irishtrails.ie
For more stories from us at I Love Limerick click here.